When all is said and done, it all comes down to money in Hollywood. If a film makes money then someone will want to keep it going. Just look at the Resident Evil franchise, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone that would rate that franchise as a critical success, but it rakes in the cash at the box office and manages its production budget so in the end, the films make investors money and we all know, money talks. Now we come to Paul Fieg‘s Ghostbusters, certainly the most controversial movie of the year. THR is reporting that the production will lose up to $70 Million while Sony disputes that figure citing some pretty weak after market income sources. If nothing else, the poor showing puts that promised sequel into a precarious position for Sony executives.
Rory Bruer, president of worldwide distribution for Sony said this just after the Ghostbusters opening weekend:
While nothing has been officially announced yet, there’s no doubt in my mind it will happen.
Now we look at the numbers. As of August 8th, the film has grossed $180 million worldwide on a budget of $144 million. Throw in the marketing costs and Sony needs to recoup $300 million to break even. Now there are still a couple of markets left for Ghostbusters to open including France, Japan, and Mexico, but it will be hard pressed to make the $120 million and should come in with a $70 million dollar loss after all is said and done.
Sony on the other hand says those numbers are wrong and that:
This loss calculation is way off. With multiple revenue streams, including consumer products, gaming, location-based entertainment, continued international rollout, and huge third-party promotional partnerships that mitigated costs, the bottom line, even before co-financing, is not remotely close to that number.
That means that Sony is banking on selling enough Ghostbusters merchandise and money from attractions like the new Ghostbusters exhibit at Madame Tussauds and the Ghostbusters theme park ride in Dubai to cover that deficit and just break even. Seems like a stretch doesn’t it?
Where does that leave the Ghostbusters franchise? While THR reports that Sony was mum on a sequel when recently asked, box office analyst Jeff Bock had this to say:
Ghostbusters is on ice until further notice. I just can’t fathom the creative talents behind it — Feig, McCarthy, Wiig, etc. — slogging out another one when the reception to the first one was so mediocre.
Sony is talking about their plans for the animated Ghostbusters though. THR reports that a Studio rep says:
We’re very proud of the bold movie Paul Feig made, which critics and audiences loved. It has enlivened a 30-year-old brand and put it into the modern zeitgeist. As a result, we have many ideas in the works to further exploit the Ghostbusters universe.
Those would include an animated Ghostbusters feature film sometime in 2019 and an animated TV series Ghostbusters: Ecto Force, which is planned to 2018. Another live action Ghostbusters will have to wait another 30 years.
Now those that hated the film can gloat, and those that liked it can blame those that didn’t. Maybe we can all just put this behind us until the next childhood ruining reboot.